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DWI Summit

Police chief calls for comprehensive DWI summit

Red River tragedy Art Acevedo
Chief Art Acevedo is calling for a DWI summit. Photo courtesy of KVUE News

KVUE — So far in 2014, DWI-related crashes have claimed 12 lives in Austin, leading Police Chief Art Acevedo to say, "enough is enough."

He wants to bring leaders from area governments, transportation systems and criminal justice agencies together for a DWI summit. The summit will include a comprehensive review of what can be improved to cut back on injuries and deaths caused by drunk drivers.

One of those 12 DWI deaths happened last weekend — popular Austin blogger Kelly Wayne Noel was the victim. He died Saturday morning walking home near East Seventh Street and  I-35. Police arrested driver Wade Atwood, who had a blood alcohol level of .102.

Acevedo outlined some suggestions for how to improve the problem at a press conference Monday. He says Austin needs overnight parking garages so intoxicated people can feel comfortable leaving their cars in one place until the following day. More taxis in Austin would also help, according to Acevedo. He says it's hard to catch one on a weekend, and the competition is getting tighter.

"This is the fastest growing city in the country," Acevedo said. "Every day, we have 120, 170 people moving into the Austin area. If you, right now, go to our roof, you will see at least nine cranes up in the sky — in the skyline — representing thousands of people coming to Austin. And we need to have as part of our mobility, as part of our safety, a robust discussion on the future."

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To read the full story and to see the video, head to KVUE.

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